Jerome Yoach Nuor. An itinerant preacher

He  was born in Dhornyal, Adok, in 1942. His father Nuor Liet and his mother Nyawat were not baptised at that time. The young Yoach Nuor grew up as a strong Nuer man and a warrior. He never thought, at that time, his life would take a radical turn in the future.

In 1962, two of his brothers were killed in a political demonstration against the Islamising policies of General Abboud’s regime. The young Yoach Nuor avenged their deaths by killing a man from the family of the people who killed his brothers. He was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison. He also had to pay, according to the Nuer tradition, the bloodwealth compensation to the family of the deceased man for his murder.

His family paid 50 cows. He was jailed in the prison of Port Sudan. There he came in contact with the Catholic faith and Church in the prison. He heard the Word of God from the chaplain of the prison and the catechists who worked with him. He understood that the way he had lived his life was not good; he had done many bad things. He decided to change his ways, to leave behind his old way of life and to start a new life through baptism in the Church. Fr. Peter Coronella baptised him with the name of Jerome in the Comboni Mission of Suakim in 1966.

When Jerome was released from prison in 1967, even though he was already baptised he joined the catechumenate run by the Comboni Missionaries in Suakim. He wanted to know the Word of God better. During the teaching he decided to dedicate his life to God, working as a catechist. He wanted to call people to conversion, to teach them the new way of life he learnt in the Church and to pray for people who were sick. He worked as a catechist for three years in Port Sudan, in Suakim.

In the mid 1970s, Jerome returned to South Sudan, to Dhornyal, his hometown, determined to convert many Nuer to Christianity. In 1976 he built a church in Dhornyal and started teaching people, praying and blessing them. His determination during the teaching, his solemnity during the prayers, and his dignified presence as a man of God attracted many people to him.

When Catechist James Duol Kai, who was teaching in Adok, heard about this new preacher, he sent some catechists to him to find out what kind of teaching he was giving and what his church was. When he heard that Jerome was a Catholic catechist he invited Jerome to join him. Catechist James sent Catechist Jerome to preach specially to the Jikany Nuer clan authorising him to administer baptism.

Catechist Jerome became an itinerant preacher, opening many new communities in four Nuer clans: Leek, Bul, Jikany and Adok. He is the third important pillar in the establishment of the Church in the rural lands of the Western Nuer. Today, catechist Jerome is 73 years old. He has retired to Dhornayl to give his life totally to prayer, teaching the Word of God and praying for the sick. People say that he is a servant of God who has left the things of this world to serve God and his people.